Computable Minds -

SSD vs HDD: comparison of technologies

Posted on: Dec, 3rd 2011
Are you thinking in buy a storage device and are you are doubting between a solid state disk (SSD) and a hard disk drive (HDD)? Do you want know the advantages and disadvantages of each technology?

Next you have a comparative table of the two technologies with their characteristics:

HDD (Hard Disk Drive) SDD (Solid State Disk) which is better? (appears in bold)
Storage capacity To about 3 TBi actually and follow growing exponentially To about 2 GBi at present Although the SSD lately have been improved a lot of in capacity, still have a large path to arrive to the level of the HDD and, also, the price by GBi in the SSD is a lot of higher.
Durability Is between 3 and 5 years, but those are medium values that are subject to manufacturing defects. Limited principally by the cycles of start and stop (between 40.000 and 50.000 maximum) which wear the mechanism of the disk. Due to that reason, turn off the energy saving, will increase its lifetime. Usually are of a couple of year. Is limited principally by the number of writes that can be do it in a cell. If doesn't have manufacturing defects, the HDD is a lot of more durable.
Speed When is more filled, more slow is, because it has to search the information in a bigger surface of the disk. Access directly to that data that has to read. In some SSD disks the access speed to the data are the double or triple respect to the HDD. This is due to the use that makes the SSD disk of the PCIe port, instead of use the SATA port which is more slow. The SSD is a lot of more faster and have a constant speed because, unlike the HDD, its performance doesn't decrease while the disk is being full. The HDD has to wait that the mechanical elements move to the adequate position to get a data, while in the SSD only have to apply an electrical current.
Consumption Also of need electrical current for the circuitry, the HDD must maintain the disk spinning continuously and do the displacements of the heads. The SSD only apply electrical currents. Due to the lack of mechanical parts, the SSD has a lot of less consumption.

Is so easy that the headers touch the disk if the there are vibrations or shakes, so is not recommended use it inside vehicles. A big knock could leave the heads and the engine useless.

Also, it can't surpass the 3.000 meters over the sea level, because the atmospheric pressure would avoid that the heads can plan over the disk.

Can work perfectly after knocks or earthquakes and in any altitude. The two technologies are sensible to the humidity but the SSD as it doesn't have mechanical parts are very resistant to the shakes. Also can be manufactured with sizes a lot of little.
Noise The engine, the friction with the air and the positioning of the headers produces noise. The most annoying and characteristic is this last, that sound as if we scratch with a key a piece of wood when we read something from the disk. Doesn't have mechanical components that can produce noise. The SSD are totally silent, in front of the HDD that has a noise level between the 36 and 48 dB, and although there are specially silent models, never will arrive to the level of the SSD.

Final conclusion:

The SSD hard disks are superior to the HDD except in durability, price and capacity, being this last two the only characteristics that search the users when they are going to buy a disk, so the SSD will have to improve a lot of more the capacity to cheapen the price by GBi and follow replacing to the HDD.

Due to its speed, the SSD, are principally useful to be used as disk where is installed the operating system and the programs are executed, so with the time the HDD will remain relegated as devices of secondary storage.

The substitution of the HDD will be each time more necessary, because is needed an increase of the speed that will go in relation with the increase of capacity and that can't be achieved with the HDD disks, as I comment in another post.

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